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Syllabus Spring 2011
Dr. Daina Nathaniel Dana 107
OFFICE PHONE: 704-688-2743 OFFICE HOURS: TR 12-1:30pm and 4:30-6:00pm or by appt. Please email me. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Communication Capstone Experience is the final course in the core of the Communication major. It is designed specifically to allow you to show off all you have learned during your years of study by exploring a single communication phenomenon in a new and exciting way. The term “capstone” is defined by an online dictionary as “the crowning achievement, point, element, or event,” thereby signifying its importance. Capstone projects, according to the Duke University website “are intended to be intensive, active learning projects, requiring significant effort in the planning and implementation, as well as preparation of a substantial final written work product.” This course in the Communication curriculum will allow you to conduct your own original research to show us, the faculty of the Knight School of Communication, that you have really grasped the essence of the Communication discipline. Besides the research, you will also give back to the community of Charlotte through community service throughout the semester, thereby invoking the motto of Queens University of Charlotte: Non ministrari sed ministrare - Not to be served, but to serve.
1. To allow you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of Communication phenomena. You will be expected to focus on your concentration in the major. 2. To allow you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to conduct Communication research. This will take the form of a semester-long research project. 3. To provide a forum in which you present your research. This will take the form of an end-of-semester colloquium.
COURSE ASSIGNMENTS The Digital Portfolio (via Wordpress)
You will submit a digital portfolio of your work in the Communication program to the faculty. The portfolio is designed to demonstrate the scope and quality of your work in the program up to this culminating semester. The capstone portfolio will be evaluated by a jury of faculty on a pass/fail basis. You can earn a pass on the portfolio if you do the following: 1) Become familiar with Wordpress. There will be an in-class tutorial as well as a workshop hosted by the Knight School of Communication.
2) Write a 500 word summative reflection of your experience in the Communication program at Queens. If you are a transfer student, you should include a brief reflection of your experience before you came to Queens as a whole, and then how Queens compares to that experience. 3) Compose a 350 word reflection about your experience in each Communication course. What material did you find particularly useful? What other material did you find less useful? What suggestions do you have for improvement? These reflections should be substantive, meaningful and insightful. 4) Each course reflection should contain a representative sample of work projects, papers, video etc. 5) The link to your Wordpress blog should be submitted via email by Thursday February 23rd by class time.
The Capstone experience is one that should celebrate your journey through the communication discipline. In this course, the work that you produce should reveal how much you have learned on a deep level. To help you in this celebration, you will become engaged in a volunteer project for 10 weeks during the semester in an effort to come to a pragmatic understanding of communication within the context of giving back. Here are the benefits to exploring communication in this way: 1. It will invoke the spirit of the Queens motto: Non ministrari sed ministrare – Not be served, but to serve 2. It will help you to observe human communication interaction within a specific context. 3. It will add a practical dimension to your understanding of communication and human interaction. 4. It will make you feel good and will give you something to talk about at a job interview. Completing the project involves the following: 1. You must secure your volunteer site as early as possible in the semester. Write a two page description of the site, why you chose that particular site and what you hope to learn from your observations there. Avoid going to the
sites in groups. You will have a much more meaningful experience on your own. Submit the description of your site by Thursday January 19th. 2. In the week beginning Sunday January 22nd, you should start your service hours. For each week of service, you must write a two page reflection on your experience at the site. These reflections are to be typed in 12pt Times New Roman font and double spaced. Anything less than two full pages of text will be considered inadequate. Your reflections should include your observation of communication processes in action, any theory or conceptual framework that you have learned in your communication courses that seems relevant, as well as your own feelings and reactions to what is happening at the site. Be honest and insightful. These reflections will be assessed based on the depth of your observations and your ability to analyze the situation using the communication theories and concepts you have learned. Do not leave yourself out of the observations. Consider your own motivations, concerns, reactions and feelings. Each Sunday you will submit your reflections to me by midnight via Moodle. During the semester we will have in-class roundtable sharings of your experiences. See the schedule below for the dates of these discussions. NOTE: This part of the course is designed for you to perform two hours of community service per week for 10 weeks. You will not be allowed to complete the entire 20 hours in a shorter period.
Each student will work on a research project in keeping with their concentration in Communication. For this project, you will need to do the following: • Select a topic that is related to your concentration in Communication and develop a research question. • Prepare the relevant IRB documents if your project involves human subjects. All IRB materials must be turned in to me via email on or by January 24th. • Decide on a theoretical or conceptual framework and review the literature relevant to the topic. • Develop research sub-questions and/or hypotheses based on your review of the literature. • To address the research question, develop a methodology that would be best suited to examine your topic. • Identify the concepts involved in the research questions and/or hypotheses and include the operational definitions for each concept in your methods section. • Identify your sample i.e. the population you will be studying. This may be human subjects or a material sample. • Execute your methodology by collecting and organizing your data.
• Analyze and interpret the data using the theoretical or conceptual framework. NOTE: You will do the data analysis manually. • Write a 25 page paper that details each aspect of the project as outlined. • Present your research and field questions in a colloquium setting at the end of the semester before the Knight School of Communication faculty. In your final product, you should have: A 25 page paper, typed, double-spaced, not including the title page and the references list. You are required to use the style of the latest version of the American Psychological Association (APA) in your citation of the sources and in writing up the references list for the paper. The APA stylebook is available in the library and online. You should use communication journals and other scholarly sources for your project. You should have a minimum of fifteen scholarly sources. Class textbooks are not appropriate sources for this type of work. Seek the original writings of the scholars you decide to use. The final paper will be graded on four areas: Research, Content, Writing and Style. The paper format should be as follows: • • • Title page in proper APA format. Abstract: No more than 200 words indicating what the study is about without giving away the final results. Introduction and background: The introduction should include a clear thesis expressing the focus of the study. The introduction should also include the purpose and significance of the paper and some basic information that sets the stage for your paper. Literature Review: This section should include an explanation of the theoretical framework and a review of the sources related to your topic. It should end with your research sub-questions and/or hypotheses based on the literature. Methodology: In this section, you will explain the sample you used (the population), details of the methodology you employed to collect the data, as well as how you organized and analyzed the data. Results: This section includes your findings from the data which answer your research questions and either support or fail to support your hypotheses. Analysis: In this section you should conduct an analysis of your data, making informed suggestions of what it all means. What are the implications for our understanding of Communication processes? Be sure that you are answering your big research question in this section.
Conclusion: In this section, you sum up your findings and analysis and include sections on the limitations of your study and suggestions for future research on this topic. References: In proper APA format, document all of the scholarly sources that you incorporated in your project. Appendices: Here you will include informed consent form, questionnaires, interview questions, a list of interviewees, large tables etc. as are relevant.
Note that if you have if your project is more of a qualitative nature, these sections may look a little different and you can consult me for assistance with this. It would be best for you to start early with this project. You cannot complete it in the final two weeks of the semester. Plan your time wisely. Schedule for completing your project: Jan. 19 Submit project topic and big research question ideas based on your preliminary review of the literature. Start in-depth literature review and research. Jan 26 Submit final research question via Moodle including research sub-questions and/or hypotheses. Be working on your literature review. Feb. 2 All final IRB materials due via email. It would be desirable to submit your IRB materials to be reviewed before this date so that you have enough time to make revisions before final submission to the board. Feb. 9 Feb. 23 Feb. - Mar. Mar. 29 Mar. 31 Submit methodology via Moodle. Submit literature review via Moodle. Start collecting data as soon as you get IRB approval. This will be sent via email from me. Submit final abstract via Moodle. By this date you should have completed data collection and
should be writing the final chapters of the report. Apr. 12 and 19 Colloquium: projects and presentations due in class as assigned. You will notice that the last four days of class are devoted to the colloquium. All students must attend all colloquium days. Failure to do so will result in a deduction in the grade for your project, at my discretion. NO EXCEPTIONS! All papers will be due on the final day of class, April 19th, regardless of when you present.
EARNING THE GRADE YOU WANT
Portfolio Weekly reflections (10) Final paper Final presentation Class Attendance and Collaboration (P/F) 30% 40% 20% 10% 100% Your grade will be determined on the following scale: 100-94% A 93.9-90% A89.9-87% B+ 86.9-84% B 83.9-80% B79.9-77% C+ 76.9-74% C 73.9-70% C69.9-65% D+ 64.9-60% D 59.9 down is failing
A. It is imperative that you come to class on the days indicated on the syllabus. For the duration of the semester you are allowed one unexcused absence. Excused absences are allowed only in cases where you are involved in a university sponsored activity, are severely ill, or a close member of your family has passed away and you must attend funeral services. If you are taking part in some university sponsored activity, you must let me know at least one week in advance, not the day of the event. If you become very ill, remember to get documentation from a doctor stating that you were too ill to be in class. Attendance and participation is worth a portion of the final grade. Any student who misses more than one class day will earn a one letter grade reduction. This means that if at the end your final grade is a B, it will become a C. Any student who misses more than four class periods for any reason automatically fails the course. When you miss class it is your responsibility to check with one of your classmates to find out what was covered. All students are expected to be present for all colloquium days.
B. You are also expected to be on time to class on the days that we meet. Excessive late arrivals are disruptive and will negatively impact your final participation grade. C. All cell phones must be turned off before entering the classroom since they can be disruptive during class. All phones must be powered off during presentations. If you are found using the phone during class, you will be asked to leave and will incur an unexcused absence for that day. D. Class meetings run approximately 75 minutes. During that time you are expected to be in the classroom and attentive to the lecture/activities of the day. Constant chatter and going in and out of the classroom is disruptive to all and is discouraged. E. I also discourage you from bringing copious amounts of food to class. Unless there are some extraordinary circumstances, please exercise some constraint and have your meals outside of class time. F. You will notice that we do not meet in class for every day indicated on the schedule. On those days when we do not meet, you are expected to meet with me one-on-one in my office for specific advice and assistance with your project. Students who make use of this individualized time find that their project moves much smoother. If you choose to come during my office hours, please know that you will have to compete with other students who might need to see me during that time. The designated class meeting time is specifically for you though.
WHAT GOOD WRITERS DO:
1. Review and follow honor code guidelines regarding plagiarism. Submitting an assignment that includes plagiarized material can earn you expulsion from the university at worst, a grade of “0” at best or an F in the course. 2. Submit all formal writing double-spaced, in 12-point type using Times New Roman font. 3. Conform to a standard academic citation style, specifically the American Psychological Association (APA) style unless otherwise specified. 4. Cite all material that is not your own, even if you quote from a class textbook, although that is not permissible in this course.
SUBMISSION OF ASSIGNMENTS:
All written assignments must be submitted on the day they are due according to the guidelines outlined above and per the assignment
description. Please note that I will try to give you feedback as quickly as possible, but I too can get busy as the semester progresses. All grades will be posted via Moodle. Legally I cannot send you final grades via email so be patient for those final grades to be posted. Graded materials that have not been distributed by the end of the semester may be collected at my office in the following semester. Turning in late work is unacceptable. In exceptional circumstances you can turn in an assignment late but you need to make that arrangement with me in advance. I will not be accepting assignments that are not handed in by the date and time indicated on the syllabus. Since most of your assignments are to be turned in via Moodle, there is a cut off time after which you will not be able to submit your document. Be sure to submit your work before the time expires.
Tech Support: For training, contact Jada Williams for orientation and instruction in Moodle (our online Learning Management System). Scheduled orientations will also be announced on RexText and on the help page. For log-in, Qmail, Moodle or online registration problems, contact the QUEST help desk at 704-337-2323. Library: For Everett Library, call 704-337-2401 (Circulation Desk) or 704337-7127 (Reference Desk). Bookstore: Visit www.queensbookstore.com or call 704-337-2413. Disability Accommodations Queens University of Charlotte is committed to providing all students equal access to learning opportunities. Student Disability Services is the campus office that works with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations. Students registered with Student Disability Services who have a LETTER OF ACCOMMODATION are encouraged to contact the instructor early in the semester. Students who have, or think they have a disability (e.g. psychiatric, attentional, learning, vision, hearing, physical, or systemic), are invited to contact Student Disability Services for a confidential discussion. The Office of Student Disability Services is located in Dana 014 (in the Center for Academic Success) or contact at 704-337-2508 or at email@example.com . Additional information is available at the SDS website http://www.queens.edu/Life-on-Campus/Student-DisabilityServices.html Honor Code The Honor Code, which permeates all phases of university life, is based on three fundamental principles. It assumes that Queens students: a) are
truthful at all times, b) respect the property of others (this includes written works, thus, plagiarism is a Honor Code violation), and c) are honest in tests, examinations, term papers, and all other academic assignments. It is a violation of the Honor Code for a student to be untruthful concerning the reason for a class absence. If you believe that you have witnessed a violation of the Queens Honor Code, I encourage you to speak with me confidentially. All members of the Queens community adhere to the Honor Code, these expectations are outlined in the Honor Code Booklet, http://portal.queens.edu. Human Participant Research All student-directed research that involves human participants must have a faculty sponsor. Additionally, all research that involves human participants must be reviewed and approved by the university institutional review board (IRB) PRIOR to the initiation of any research activities. IRB Information and approval forms are available on the myQueens portal (http://myqueens.queens.edu). First, sign into myQueens and then click the “Shared Documents” link on the left side of the screen. This will take you to the “Institutional Review Board Documents” folder. University Closings / Cancelled Classes In the rare occasion when it is necessary to close the university announcements will be made on TV and radio, and will be posted on the Queens web site, www.queens.edu. The best way for the Queens community to receive fast and accurate information about closings is to sign up for QALERT. QALERT: Receive campus emergency notifications via voicemail, text and/or e-mail, sign up at www.queens.edu/alert. Remember, you must register as a new user each academic year, even if you’ve signed up in the past. The system is wiped clean every August, and you will receive a message before that happens. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: If classes are meeting but you feel that you cannot find a safe way to get to class, you should notify me as soon as possible. Intellectual Property Policy Queens University of Charlotte faculty and students adhere to the Queens’ Intellectual Property Policy and U.S. Copyright Law. See Faculty Handbook, http://moodle.queens.edu, and the Queens University of Charlotte website at http://www.queens.edu.
Week 1: 01/12 – Capstone!!! Aaaahhhh!!!! Research refresher Week 2: 01/19 – Wordpress 101 – Meet in Dana 110 Submit project topic and research question ideas via Moodle IRB materials check-in Volunteer site proposal due via Moodle Week 3: Giving back 1 - Your service project must begin this week 01/26 – Submit final project and research sub-questions and/or hypotheses via Moodle Week 4: Giving back 2 02/02 – Check-in in class All IRB materials due via email to email@example.com Week 5: Giving back 3 02/09 – Community service discussion in class Submit methodology via Moodle Week 6: Giving back 4 02/16 – Project check-in in class Week 7: Giving back 5 02/23 – Submit literature review via Moodle Digital Portfolio due via email Week 8: Giving back 6 03/01 – Community service discussion in class Week 9: 03/08 – Spring Break! Week 10: Giving back 7 03/15 – Project check-in in class Week 11: Giving back 8 03/22 – Project check-in in class
Week 12: Giving back 9
03/29 – Project check-in in class Submit final abstract via Moodle Week 13: Giving back 10 04/05 – Final community service discussion in class Week 14: 04/12 – Colloquium in class Week 15: 04/19 – Colloquium in class Syllabus Change Policy: This syllabus is designed as a guide for the course and is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.
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